Guest Posts are one of the best link building strategies, and over the years it has become increasingly more difficult to earn links this way. There is more demand, therefore more spammy outreach, which results in some blogs just adopting a “no guest blogging” policy.

Why would they do this and turn away free content? Most don’t want to deal with an inbox full of pitches from non-relevant websites. It can be overwhelming, and with so many spammy “outreach” tools available that automate the spam it has caused many sites to lose all interest in it.

But that hasn’t slowed us down. The top agencies adjust and find new opportunities and develop new strategies. We have secured thousands of guest posting opportunities, resulting in massive link building efforts for our clients over the years.

It used to only be about the link, and homepage URL links in an author bio was the way to go. It built authority and then made it easier to rank inner pages based on the overall domain authority.

Then publishers became aware of this and started to strip author bio links or no-follow them. Now it’s all about inner link building, and we will more than likely experience different trends and adjustments moving forward. Guest Posts will always be effective — the way we secure those links may change though.

A lot of people often ask if guest posting still works (it does) and how to do it correctly..

So I thought it might be helpful if I put together a blog that highlights key takeaways that my agency has personally learned over the years, securing thousands of guest posts.


1. List Posts Drive the Biggest Return in Traffic

One of the biggest mistakes people make when pitching a guest blog is failing to also pitch a topic and title. Do you know how many emails a blog receives daily that simply ask, “Do you accept guest posts?”

An email like that requires them to reply and then await a response back. Most of the times a general inquiry like that with no substance or direction will just get deleted. You have to give as much information in the quickest way. Let me explain. These blogs all get hammered with emails every day. Help make their job easier and watch your rate of securing placements skyrocket.

Let’s assume I was running a link building campaign for a pet toy e-commerce store. We are targeting pet blogs and identify one about dogs that has strong metrics and the links are do-follow. We want to increase the chances of winning this placement, so the pitch would be something like this:


“We run the online pet store XXXX and we have put together a great blog post titled, ‘The Top 10 Dog Breeds for Apartment Living’ and would love to offer it to you as it fits your audience and is packed with research and data. Mind if we send it to you to give it a quick read? You are free to post it and if not, no worries.”


This is a very direct yet laid back approach. Notice there are no mentions of links? No statements demanding a “do-follow” link. If they like the post they are going to include the link, as we place relevant inner page links in the content that fit naturally.

Also, the list aspect is key here. Not only do websites accept them at a much higher rate, but I have seen the most referral traffic come from list posts. Why? People just like reading them more. And the more traffic on a blog post, the more opportunity there is to benefit from referral traffic.



2. Posting Several Times on Niche Blogs Doesn’t Work

There are two reasons I suggest always looking for new guest posting opportunities rather than hitting the same target over and over, especially in very small niches.

First off, smaller niches are often less competitive and you are going to move the SEO needle more if you focus on diversification and a wide range of referring domains. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on one mega magazine link you can secure several guest posts on smaller blogs and the impact will be greater.

Google is becoming much smarter. Sally’s little flower shop in Arkansas has no business being linked to on Forbes, unless they do something incredible and newsworthy. Other than that, a link from Forbes reeks of link manipulation, and I can promise you that there is AI in place to identify things like this now.

Now, if there is a guest post that drives a noticeable amount of referral traffic then you might want to explore more opportunities on that blog solely for that traffic, without even taking SEO into consideration.

But, if your outreach is strictly to build links, then you want to spread your guest posts across as many different niche blogs as possible.

Remember, it’s a numbers game. You have to constantly be approaching new blogs, and don’t shy away from those with Domain Authority in the 10s or 15s. As they grow and their authority increases, so does your link value. Also, it’s much easier to secure a guest blog on lower DA websites and it makes you link profile look more natural.


3. Have a ‘Snowball’ Mentality

For this takeaway let’s forget about everything except referral traffic from a contextual link placed within the body of the guest post. If you secure a guest post and it drives just 20 visitors to your website a month many people would assume that it’s not worth the effort, but that is the wrong way to think.

You have to have a snowball mentality when it comes to referral traffic value. Let me explain what I mean. Let’s assume you are going very aggressive and doing daily outreach, and you are able to secure 5 guest posts per week (20 per month).

If each guest post only drives 50 visitors a month your traffic will look like this ONLY from guest blogs:

  • Month 1: 1,000
  • Month 2: 2,000
  • Month 3: 3,000
  • Month 4: 4,000
  • Month 5: 5,000
  • Month 6: 6,000

As you can see, the traffic number snowball, and all you have to do is be consistent. Now, when you take into account that some will drive much more traffic, and the fact that you can move much faster in acquiring guest posts when you hire an agency like mine to secure them, you can see how much of an impact it can have on your traffic over time.

This is why every single opportunity you can secure is well worth it. Even if you just get 20 or 30 visitors each month from it, you know they are going to be highly targeted since you are only going after niche guest posts. Skipping over the small low hanging fruit is a big mistake most make.


4. Simplicity Over Complex Topics Wins (Both for Acceptance and Return)

Over the years I have noticed one thing: the majority of blogs will bite on a bitch that is about a broad topic rather than one that is very narrow and/or too complex. Remember, most blog articles that perform the best are written for a 10th grade reading level.

This is a rule most of the most successful blogs follow for a couple of reasons. Number one, they don’t want to push away potential readers by publishing content that is too difficult to comprehend. If someone has trouble understanding an article or struggles to get through it, then what are the chances that they come back again to read more?

Slim to none. Why are they going to come back and struggle when they can easily find an alternative option. I see a lot of new blogs try to come across as experts and jam their content full of industry terms and jargon, and they end up alienating themselves.

The average reader is going to be reading at that 10th grade level, so make sure your content aligns with that. Also, most people that read blogs don’t actually “read” the entire post from start to finish. Most people skim, focusing on the headlines, which is why formatting plays a major role.

You want to write in simple sentences, with a maximum of two to three per paragraph. Small easy to digest paragraphs combined with proper headings and formatting makes it easy to comprehend, whether reading word-for-word or skimming the page quickly.

So, when pitching understand that you just have to present a great idea, and not necessarily one that is overly complicated. Blogs want articles that will appeal to a large percentage of their readers. Complex topics will mean less page views and less advertising revenue.



5. Use Keywords in Your Post Titles

Guest blogging is a great way to drive traffic to your website from certain keyword searches that your website can’t (or won’t) rank for itself. Keyword research when it comes to post titles can benefit you a couple different ways.

First, when you pitch the post, you can reference the keyword being in the title, and explaining how the content is optimized specifically for that term, while also making the blog aware of its search volume. If you present a pitch for an article that’s optimized for a keyword with a monthly search volume of 22,000 and the blog has strong authority, then there is a good chance they are going to experience some of that organic traffic simply by posting the content.

Doing this is one of the easiest ways to increase your placements landed, and it not only helps you secure more wins, but you can also push that traffic back to your website, especially if it is a competitive term that would cost you a small fortune to rank for yourself.

Let me give you an example.

If you owned a financial blog and wanted to rank for “American Express Platinum Card Benefits” it would be next to impossible. But, if you pitched a guest post and landed one on, with a post titled, “American Express Platinum Card Benefits – The Definitive Guide,” then there is a good chance it would rank for that keyword.

Then within the post you can work in a subtle call-to-action to drive traffic back to your website. While you might not get every reader to click-through, it’s a way to attract some of that traffic that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach.


6. Always Have New Targets in Your Pipeline

I would like to emphasize two points. First, never count your chickens before they hatch, and second, constantly fill your pipeline with leads and potential guest posting opportunities. Just because someone shows interest doesn’t mean it’s a sure thing.

Lots of blogs have multiple editors and a process to get content published. While a pitch might make it past the first line of defense that doesn’t mean someone else might see something in it that causes them to get cold feet and pass on the opportunity.

Especially since you will be inserting a link. While one employee might not see it as an obvious SEO play, another might. They might just outright reject it or they might strip the link. I have had both situations occur multiple times. It’s part of the game.

If you are going to commit to guest blogging then you need to treat it as a full time marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter if you are doing it yourself or hire an agency to do it. You need to be consistent so there is a constant flow of new inbound links hitting your website.

If you are managing your own outreach, then dedicate 30 minutes a day to just new pitches. This will help you to keep your pipeline filled with potential opportunities. If you are hiring an agency, make sure you are constantly buying new guest posts. This will also keep the opportunities flowing.

Remember, an agency like mine has some solid connections, but we still have to pitch. You are only paying for secured guest posts, so there is no wasted time on your end. That is marketing money well spent in my opinion, as it allows you to experience the desired results while keeping your time open for more important tasks that will lead to business growth.


Final Thoughts

You will read a lot of varying opinions online regarding guest posting. Some claim it’s dead (they couldn’t be more wrong) and some claim Google doesn’t count guest blog links, which is false. They might not place the same weight on bio links as they did in the past, but contextual links within the post body are highly effective.

There is a reason that our outreach guest post service is one of the most popular products we offer. We know how to execute the strategy unlike any other agency and the end result works. The SEO value of the link combined with the referral traffic and branding when done on niche websites is a powerful combo.

Do you have any other questions related to guest posting and outreach that were not covered above? If so leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to try to help you.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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